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[Editorial] Is Prosecutor General Really Being Impartial?

[Editorial] Is Prosecutor General Really Being Impartial?

Posted February. 02, 2004 23:05,   


Based on the prosecution’s investigations into the illegal funds in the MDP nomination race for the presidential election in 2002, the winner of the race apparently spent only one tenth the amount of campaign funds compared to that of Rep. Hahn Hwa-kap (MDP), a loser in the race. But how much can we really trust the prosecutors’ investigation? After an arrest warrant was issued against Hahn on charges of receiving one billion won of illegal political funds in the race, prosecutors coincidently announced that President Roh’s close aide, Ahn Hee-jung, also collected 50 million won of illegal political funds in the race.

In addition, prosecutors further found Roh’s camp’s receiving another 50 million won of illegal funds from “Sun and Moon” in the race, making the camp’s total illegal funds 100 million won.

But how could Hahn, who gave up the nomination race after touring only four cities, have spent 10 times greater in slush funds than Roh’s camp which completed the tour of 16 cities in the race? Thus, the prosecutors findings are somewhat doubtful.

The timing of the investigation into Hahn also raises suspicions. Three months ago, prosecutors said that they would not investigate the irregularities over the nomination races in order to focus their investigations on the irregularities in the last presidential election. But prosecutors somehow all of the sudden started to launch their investigations into illegal political funds in the last nomination races in earnest ahead of the general elections. And coincidently, when disputes intensified over the fairness of the investigation into Hahn, prosecutors announced Ahn’s receiving of illegal funds, possibly in an attempt to make their investigations appear impartial.

Prosecutor General Song Kwang-soo once said, “If one insists each investigation case to be politically unbiased, prosecutors can not no longer investigate into politicians.” However, Song should realize that fairness is even more important in political cases. In old days, prosecutors used to investigate political cases disadvantageously to opposition parties.

Prosecutors should keep it in mind that their investigations into the nomination races and the presidential election will have a great influence in the coming general elections. Song belatedly said, “Prosecutors will not intentionally investigate into political funds in the nomination races, but any disclosures or findings over the illegal political funds will be investigated whether or not they are related to the nomination races and the presidential election.” But why did he have to belatedly mention such a comment after Hahn’s case created a stir, making the reliability of prosecutors’ words impaired.

Now, it is time for Song to ask himself whether he is leading the prosecutors’ investigations impartially and whether he is doing his best to live up to the people’s expectations.